Casey Capers - USA

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Vol 21 No 7 - 30 September, 2017

After loading in Marion, Indiana on Thursday, on 31 August we stopped late afternoon in Silver Creek, New York, and friends Dave and Sandy picked us up and we spent a few hours with them - beers and chicken wings.  Always good to see them.
This is where we parked in Silver Creek, New York.
The weekend September 2 to 4 was a long weekend, our load could not deliver until Tuesday, 5th - only 880 miles (1400 kms).  Stayed Friday and Saturday nights at Joe and Michele's near Attica, New York. Weather was cold, not nice for motorcycling - we did not go far.  A trip to Windy Brew, and Bennington Lanes for dinner Friday.
Left early Sunday morning and drove to Concord, New Hampshire - it rained all day.  Monday was the Labor Day holiday and warm and sunny, we unloaded the motorbike.
First stop was to check out where we had to deliver the next day.
Then headed north to Laconia, and stopped for brunch - pumpkin pancakes.

Picked up a brochure on the New Hampshire Ice Cream Trail.  Had to fit in at least one of the 47 places listed.
Internet:  Granite State Diary Promotions aims to increase demand for dairy products and a deeper appreciation for family owned farms.

Number 42 on the Trail in Bristol - The Mill Ice Cream Cafe and Fudge Factory.
Website:  Nestled in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire is a quaint, historic 1700’s grist mill overlooking the Newfound River.  It’s the home of The Mill Fudge Factory, where we make handcrafted, small batch fudge, all natural ice cream, and delicious cafĂ© fare.  We are family-owned and operated, serving the highest quality fudge and ice cream since 2006.  Our mission is simple – to make people happy.

Newfound River and mill.

Bristol is a beautiful town - a lot of flowers.
These flowers were growing in the top of a trash bin (bin underneath).
Continued on nice roads and found The Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille near New London.

Website:  New Hampshire’s first solar powered brewery, the Flying Goose Brew Pub and Grille receives about 766,000 kWh of energy annually delivered by the sun to its 3.1 acres of solar panels, and hot water collectors mounted on the roof over the dining room.
It was very busy, but an interesting place.

Next we took a ride around the city of Concord.
Internet:  Concord is the capital city of New Hampshire.  The State house is a gold domed building dating from 1819.

Then a dinner stop in at the Draft Sports Bar and Grille in historic downtown Concord.

Back to the truck stop to load the bike.
Next morning, to deliver at the New Hampshire State Highway Dept. on Smokey Bear Blvd.
There as been a lot of practicing line marking in the depot.

South to Hartford, Connecticut to load.
Lots of traffic.
Did a company equipment move from Utica Alloy - a load of used equipment.  One of the worst kinds of load!  A mess of stuff!

Hartford, Connecticut to Utica, New York.
Required stoppng every 50-60 miles to tighten or redo straps and chains.  Delivered to Utica Alloys Inc. in Utica, New York the next morning.  They didn't want it either!

Canadian geese enjoying a big puddle where we delivered in Utica.
Stayed that night in Utica.  Took a bus to the downtown area.  A really interesting city.
Internet:  Internet:  Located on the Mohawk River at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains, Utica was formerly a river settlement inhabited by the Mohawk tribe of the Iroquois Confederacy.  During the 19th century, immigrants strengthened its position as a layover between Albany and Syracuse on the Erie and Chenango Canals and the New York Central Railroad.   Utica’s location on the canals encouraged industrial development.  Utica’s economy centered around the manufacture of furniture, heavy machinery, textiles and lumber.
Great murals on buildings.

 Stopped at Griffin's Irish Pub on Genesee Street - we both had a local Utica Club beer.
The lights in Griffin's Pub.
The F.X. Matt Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery in Utica, New York.  It is the fourth oldest family-owned brewery in the United States, having brewed since 1888.  (First named the West End Brewing Company.) Its most popular product is the Saranac line of beers; soft drinks such as root beer and ginger beer are also sold.  The company is in its fourth generation of ownership by the Matt family.

During Prohibition, the company stayed afloat by producing soft drinks under the label ‘Utica Club’.  After the end of Prohibition, 'Utica Club' became the name of the brewery’s flagship beer.
Jim bought one of these 'boot' shaped beer glasses - price included a fill-up of Utica Club in the 1888 Tavern, upstairs from the first floor gift store.

The Matt Brewery has produced thirty different beers in its Saranac line over the past two decades.
I had the seasonal pumpkin beer which was the best I have ever had, mainly because of the rim of pumpkin spices.
Saranac Pumpkin beer was fabulous.
The 1888 Tavern was beautiful.

Our dinner was at the Celtic Harp - and Irish tavern across the street from the brewery.  Another great venue.
A great dinner at the Celtic Harp, across the street from the brewery.

A stop at Stanley's Bar.
Utica also has several higher education centres: colleges, universities; therefore a very active and assorted bar scene in the downtown area.
We took a taxi back to the truck and left early the next morning, Thursday went to load in Syracuse.  Just one small shipment - an electrical cabinet, had to be fully tarped.
LTL from Syracuse, New York to Lancaster, New York.
Delivered in the afternoon in Lancaster, NY, outside Buffalo - then parked the truck and headed to Joe and Michele's.
Saturday was Jim's nephew, Mathew's wedding - Friday evening we joined both families for dinner at Buffalo Public House in Hamburg on Lake Erie.   Beautiful sunset after a stormy day. (Weather had become quite cold!)
Looking towards Buffalo, NY.
From the deck of Buffalo Public House, Hamburg, NY.

Had a lovely meal and catch up with family.
Saturday, 9 September wedding for Mat and Jenny:
Oooooh, a new section of concrete on the footpath ....
St Peter and Paul Catholic Church, Hamburg, New York.

The cool relations!

Gorgeous girls - Madelyn, Karen, Maegan and Veronica.

The reception was a Ilio DiPaolo's Restaurant and Banquet Facility.  Ilio DiPaolo was a professional wrestler, he relocated from Italy to Western New York in 1951. His wrestling career debuted in 1949 and he retired in 1965.
Internet:  DiPaolo met his wife, Ethel in 1952, and had four children. He opened a pizzeria, but it was destroyed by a fire.  DiPaolo retired from wrestling full-time and opened his second restaurant, an eponymous Italian restaurant now known as “Ilio DiPaolo’s” in Blasdell, NY.  He died in 1995 after being struck by a car during a torrential downpour.  After his death, DiPaolo’s eldest son, Dennis run the restaurant.  His other children also worked in the restaurant.
Jim had been to the restaurant in the 70’s and met Ilio, and has some stories.
The hallway was covered with memorabilia and awards earned by Ilio.
Dennis DiPaolo congratulated the newly-weds and welcomed guests to the restaurant. 

Mr and Mrs!
The miniature brides were swirling on the dance floor!

It was a lovely wedding and a great reception.  Most guests and us stayed at a nearby motel, and we spent time together in the afternoon.  We had to get up and moving early Sunday to load in Syracuse.

The Great New York State Fair had ended and the clean and pack up was underway.
Internet:  The Great New York State Fair is a 13 day showcase of agriculture, entertainment, education and technology.  With midway rides, concessionaires, exhibits and concerts, it has become New York’s largest annual event and an end-of-summer tradition for hundreds of thousands of families from all corners of the state.  The first fair took place in Syracuse in 1841 and took permanent residence there in 1890.  It is the oldest and one of the largest state fairs in the United States, with nearly one million visitors.

A horse event was happening.

Giraffe's and camels where we loaded!

We were there for six hours - took a long time to load!  Also, parts were slippery and required a lot of straps and bungy cords.
Our load of tent parts - beams, struts, canopies, miscellaneous.  Syracuse New York to Orlando, Florida.
Weird camera phenomenon - don't know how this happened to three photos through the windscreen???

Southbound for Florida - watching reports on Hurricane Irma coming towards us after battering the whole state of Florida.
We experienced tropical storm winds and rain in South Carolina, and stopped in the truckstop for the night.
Remnants of Irma in South Carolina.

Then the traffic southbound back to Florida and coastal areas of Georgia - took a lot longer than usual!
Our upstairs tenant, Sherryl kept us informed on the storm in our area of Daytona Beach.  She posted this photo on Facebook, taken one block east of the house - part of Daytona Lagoons water slide was blown into the street.  No damage to our house this time.
Sherryl's photo after Hurricane Irma - our street.
Jim and I arrived in Daytona Beach Tuesday late afternoon, delivered the tent structures in Orlando the next morning to Event America - a tent rental company, then back to Daytona.  A walk around our neighbourhood to see storm damage.  Starting the clearing up of the waterslide.

 A lot of signs are destroyed.
Palm trees do not have a deep root system - these two were blown over at the front of the Convention Centre near us.  When palm trees are first planted and prior to hurricanes, they are supported by struts.
Palm trees blown over in front of the Daytona Beach Convention Centre.
Supports for palm trees during hurricane season.
Friday evening concert at the Bandshell was country singer Fast Forward, a Kenny Chesney Tribute Artist, Jim and I and our neighbour/friend, Diane walked down to enjoy the beach and concert. We had seen (the real) Kenny Chesney at the Bandshell live about 18 years ago.

Not many people there after the hurricane, still an enjoyable evening out.

Saturday evening, Jim and I walked along the Boardwalk to The Roof Bar for happy hour drinks and dinner. The first day open since the hurricane.  Electricity had just been restored and supplies replenished.  Ocean was choppy from Hurricane Jose in the Atlantic Ocean.
Wald to Daytona Beach Pier and The Roof Bar.

Walked down Main Street to Sunsetters to toast the sunset, not spectacular because of clouds, but a relaxing place.

Sunset and the Halifax River.
The huge oak trees, and palm fronds make a lot of storm debris - a couple of photos from our street.

Jimmy arrived in Daytona Beach for the weekend, he had no damage, except tree limbs had fallen on electricity wires and pulled out of the exterior wall.  His neighbour run an extension cord for him to have the basics.
Watched the Buffalo Bills Football game at the Oasis Tiki Bar with Jimmy on the Sunday afternoon. Jimmy had can coolers made for Cody Johncox Racing, they had to test them out.
Oasis Tiki Bar.

Doing some running around early in the week, we ended up near the Daytona Beach Brewing Company, so stopped in for a brew and "Taco Tuesday".
Mijo's Street Cuisine is a new food truck and is run by the son of the owner of Tia Cori's Mexican Restaurant - one of our regular eating places.  We were talking to the owner of both - Tia Cori's and Mijo's - nice people and interesting.
Taco Tuesday!
Wednesday, 20 September we left the house early and in the truck headed north to load.  The sun rising north of Jacksonville at the Florida / Georgia state line - St. Mary's River.  Beautiful, and I managed some nice photos with my phone - out the window.

Loaded at Bridgestone Tire near Trenton, South Carolina early afternoon.  This plant manufactures heavy duty, earth moving 'off-road' radial tyres.  Twelve big tyres!
Trenton, South Carolina to Nogales, Arizona.
The shipment was paying as a Less Than Truckload, so we needed another shipment to go on.  It was heavy and took up most of the trailer, which limited what could go with it.  Could only find a small engine container.  Loaded that at the Anniston Army Depot in Anniston, Alabama on Thursday morning.
Internet:  Anniston Army Depot is a major facility for the production and repair of ground combat vehicles, overhaul of small arms weapons systems and the storage of chemical weapons.
Still had space, but could not find anything else, so headed west.
Joe and Jimmy were in Fort Worth, Texas to watch Cody Johncox race in the Lonestar Flat Track races on Saturday afternoon.  Jim and I got there Friday afternoon and we all stayed at a motel five miles from the trace track.

Three Casey rigs in Fort Worth, Texas.
We all enjoyed the motel swimming pool and beers - it was typical late summer Texas weather - HOT!
Keeping an eye on the trucks from the swimming pool.

Saturday afternoon spent at Lonestar Motor Speedway, for the Lonestar National Half-Mile Flat Track race.
The Motor Speedway is a huge complex, and The Dirt Track is located in a corner of it.

Internet:  Known as "The Great American Speedway" (NASCAR track), has an estimated capacity of 191,122.  Recognised as one of the most modern speedways in the world, events include the NASCAR Sprint Cup, Nationwide Series, and Camping World Truck Series, and an Indy Car series.

The second last race of 2017, took a stroll down pit row to see the Johncox Racing team, and riders we follow.
Pit Row.
Cody's race bike.

Kolby Carlile, also known as The Flying Tomato!  Current points leader - No. 36.

It was a big night of racing, Cody's times were within 10th's of a second of best times on the track, but could not get a placing in the Main Event.  He is talented, skilled and consistent - hoping next year will be HIS year!!

Jim and I were in the truck and rolling at 9 am Sunday, headed west.  Spent that night in Van Horn, Texas. A great west Texas sunset!

Wide open space - speed limit is 80 miles per hour.

Monday morning, we delivered the small engine container at Fort Bliss, an Army installation near the Texas/New Mexico state line in El Paso.  Fort Bliss is the second largest installation in the US.
Found a creepy crawly thing at a rest area in New Mexico.
New crawling thing - compared to Jim's boot - don't know what it is.

Delivered the big tyres at a warehouse in Nogales, Arizona.  They will be shipped into Mexico.  We were empty, but had planned some visiting in Arizona.  We deadheaded to Tucson.
Stopped in for a coffee and visit with Jim's Uncle Joe, Aunt Ro and cousin Phyllis on Tuesday afternoon.  Had not seen them for about seven years - the visit was overdue!  Always lovely to spend time with them.
Then to Jim's cousin Tom and wife, JoAnn in Chandler, Arizona, (south of Phoenix).  They retired and moved from Buffalo, New York 7 years ago and this was our first visit to their Arizona home.

Very relaxing!  Tom and JoAnn have two beautiful dogs: Karma and Sarge (the male boxer).
Tom and JoAnn took us to Chase's Diner for breakfast - a restaurant owned by people from Buffalo, NY.  A very cool restaurant, and 50's style diner,

With a couple of Buffalo Bills signs.
A juke box at each table.
For lunch on Wednesday, we organised to meet with Jim's cousin (from his mother's side).  Mary and Dennis live near Cleveland, Ohio, but they had been mostly in Arizona for a couple of years helping to care for Mary's ailing brother, John passed away on 15 Sept.  Tom had loaned his car, so we met them at Claim Jumper's Restaurant for lunch.  Lovely to see them.

Mary, Dennis, Jim and Lesley at Claim Jumpers.
Thursday morning Jim and I loaded three PODS at a warehouse in Tolleson, south of Phoenix.  These PODS were empty and required around the Houston, Texas area.  The aftermath and clean up from Hurricane Harvey last month, these are needed for storage while people sorted out their lives and possessions. An easy and light load for us.
After loaded, we parked the rig, Tom and JoAnn picked us up for a tour of historic Chandler.

We parked and first stop was SanTan Brewing Company in San Marcos Square.
SanTan Brewing is the largest in Arizona, opened in 2007.  A flight of their signature beers were first on the agenda.
Trivia:  San Tan Mountains and Park are a dominant landmark just south of Chandler.  Over 10,000 acres of desert with hiking / biking trails.

Tom and JoAnn at SanTan Brewing Company.

Most of the outdoor areas of bars and restaurants have the water misters to cool the air.
Then a quick beer at Murphy's Law Irish Pub, a lot of atmosphere there.  Located in the historic Dobson Building.
After we made our way east.  Chandler is noted for its annual Ostrich Festival, we found an ostrich for a photo opportunity!
Internet:  Initially, agriculture was the primary business in Chandler, based on cotton, corn, and alfalfa.  During the 1910s, there were ostrich farms in the area, catering to the demand for plumes used in women’s hats of the era.  This demand ebbed, but the legacy of the ostrich farms would be commemorated by the Ostrich Festival.

Margaritas are an Arizona drink!  Then there is Modern Margarita in Chandler
JoAnn had the Hot Mango and I had Up In Spoke!  Wow!  An experience right there!
Good thing there was a good bit of walking involved from one drinking establishment to the next!

Website:  The Perch Brewery and Pub is located in Historic Downtown Chandler.  It is not only a Brewery and Pub but home to a collection of over 50 brightly coloured, tropical rescue birds.  Featuring panoramic views of Downtown Chandler from our roof top bar and lush garden landscape in the courtyard below.  We have 40 craft beers on tap and an ever-changing selection of Perch beers.
Anytime is the perfect time to treat yourself to an unforgettable experience at The Perch.

Every year thousands of pet birds are abused, neglected, and abandoned.  Many people purchase a pet bird because they want a unique pet, but fail to research what it takes to provide these amazing creatures the necessary care they need to thrive in captivity.  We dedicate our time and energy to helping rebuild trusting relationships with unwanted, abandoned, abused and neglected pet birds and give them a loving forever home.  We do not breed, buy or sell our rescue birds.  Our primary goal is to provide a second chance and lots of love for these birds.
The food was great - and so much of it!  The Perch is a great place!  Thoroughly enjoyed all aspects,  even the cockatoos screeching!
Wandered back to the car via Tumbleweed Park.
Note: Since 1957, Chandler has displayed the only Christmas Tree made of tumbleweed.  That would be great to see!
Getting late, sun beginning to sink at Chandler, Arizona.
A beautiful Chandler, Arizona sunset.
We had a lovely few days - catch up with relatives.  Tom and JoAnn provided everything we needed.  (A close, safe, legal place to park the rig was a plus.)
JoAnn kept us full of food and Tom maintained the drinks! Great hospitality.
Jim and I were back on the road mid morning Friday.  Temperatures a little cooler with isolated rain showers.

Stayed the night at a truckstop near Van Horn, Texas and woke up to a light shower of rain and an awesome sunrise.
Sunrise in Van Horn, Texas.  Tolleson, Arizona to Beaumont, Texas.

Rain in west Texas is refreshing.

Stopped for lunch at an old style truckstop in Segovia, Texas.
 The interior decor was different!

Sad News received on Saturday morning - Jim's cousin Phyllis, whom we had just visited on Tuesday - passed away on Friday night.  Wow - we were shocked and saddened.  She had been battling health issues for a year or so, but she looked so well and happy when we saw her.  :-(